Contaminated Baby Formula Lawsuit

Recalled Baby Formula Containing Cronobacter Bacteria & Salmonella

Cronobacter and Salmonella contamination in powdered baby formula has led to serious and sometimes fatal infections in newborns.

Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport were recently found in powdered baby formulas at an Abbott Laboratories facility, leading to the hospitalizations and reports of death of children.

Bacterial infections in newborns may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and other serious health effects.

If your baby or a loved one’s baby has suffered injuries or has died after consuming contaminated baby formula, contact TorHoerman Law today for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Our attorneys understand the immense pain and worry associated with these situations and will fight for you and your family to gain the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Studies have linked bovine-based / cow’s milk formulas to an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.

Baby formulas contaminated with bacteria like Cronobacter and Salmonella have also been linked to the gastrointestinal disease.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a gastrointestinal disease that almost exclusively affects infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy (premature babies).

It creates intestinal inflammation, causing cells to die and holes to form.

This then allows harmful and potentially deadly bacteria to leak in and infect the intestines.

Similac and other powdered baby formulas produced by Abbott Laboratories are named in legal complaints and recalls over Cronobacter and Salmonella infections.

Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit | Similac & Enfamil baby formula linked to NEC
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Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit | Similac & Enfamil baby formula linked to NEC

Toxic Baby Food Lawsuit
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Toxic Baby Food Lawsuit

Table of Contents

Recalled Baby Formula Contaminated with Bacteria

A number of baby formulas have been recalled by Abbott after reports that the formulas had been contaminated with hazardous and potentially life-threatening bacteria including Cronobacter Sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

Both of these bacterias have been linked to numerous adverse health risks in infants and small children.

Parents are encouraged to discontinue use of any material lots that have been recalled (see below).

TorHoerman Law is currently investigating the injuries related to this bacterial exposure in baby formulas, both for the lots specifically recalled as well as potential injuries from other baby formulas.

If your child suffered injuries relating to bacterial exposure after consuming baby formula, contact TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation or use our chatbot below to receive a free, instant online case evaluation right now.

What is Cronobacter Sakazakii?

Cronobacter Sakazakii is a germ found in the environment that can make its way into dry foods, such as powdered baby formulas, and has recently been scientifically linked to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in babies.

Cronobacter Sakazakii can be harmful to people of all ages but is especially dangerous to infants, sometimes leading to sepsis (blood infection), meningitis (spinal cord swelling), and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

First discovered in a clinical setting by scientists in 1980, extensive research has been done since to link Cronobacter Sakazakii to various health effects.

The bacteria’s effects on infants has been known for quite some time, with scientific papers as early as 2006 naming it an emerging pathogen for infants and neonates and an emerging pathogen in baby formula.

Cronobacter Sakazakii was named Enterobacter Sakazakii up until the early 2010s, when it was reclassified after scientific research found that clarification was necessary.

Older scientific research refers to the bacteria as Enterobacter Sakazakii.

What is Salmonella Newport?

Salmonella Newport is one of the over 2,600 strains of the salmonella bacteria.

Resistant to certain drugs and treatments, Salmonella Newport is especially dangerous for infants.

More generally, salmonella infection (​​salmonellosis) causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever shortly after infection.

Sometimes, infection can spread to the bloodstream and cause further, serious health effects.

People with weak immune systems, especially infants, are more susceptible to serious symptoms of salmonella infection.

Antibiotics are typically prescribed to fight salmonella infection in immunocompromised patients, but since certain strains, or serovars, of salmonella are resistant to some drugs, treatment can be difficult.

Cronobacter and Salmonella Bacterial Contamination in Powdered Baby Formulas

Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections in babies are heavily associated with the consumption of powdered baby formulas.

Both Cronobacter and Salmonella have been scientifically linked with the contamination of powdered baby formulas years ago.

Prevention of Cronobacter and Salmonella Infections

Preventing Cronobacter and Salmonella infections is multi-faceted but crucial for your child’s health and well-being.

These infections are rare, but can gravely jeopardize a baby’s health.

Below are prevention methods as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is nutritionally beneficial and aids in preventing infections.
  • Liquid Formula: Liquid formula is regarded as safer than powdered options due to sterilization techniques and easier to keep clean of contamination.
  • Ensuring Safety of Powdered Formula: If you do choose to feed your baby powdered formula, keep lids clean and on when not in use, thoroughly clean feeding bottles, and employ sterilization techniques when preparing the formula.

Abbott Baby Formula Manufacturing Facility Contamination

Cronobacter and Salmonella were recently found in powdered baby formulas produced by Abbott at a facility in Michigan, leading to an FDA warning and voluntary recall.

The bacteria present in the baby formula led to infections in babies who consumed certain powdered formulas.

Infections in babies were from both Cronobacter and Salmonella.

The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:

  • The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

The original recall, put out on February 17th, has been expanded following the death of a second child.

Complaints Filed Against Powdered Abbott Laboratories

Just days before the expanded recall was announced and mere weeks after the original recall, a February 25th class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court: Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint alleges that Abbott Laboratories:

“Negligently failed to exercise reasonable care in the formulation, design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing, advertising, packaging, labeling, distribution and/or sale of certain infant powdered formula products."

Another complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court: Southern District of Florida on February 20th, contains similar allegations.

The complaint alleges that Abbott engaged in:

“Numerous unfair and deceptive acts and practices designed to mislead the public in connection with their promotion, marketing, advertising, packaging, labeling, distribution and/or sale of Similac Infant Formula…”

The complaint continues, saying that:

“Defendants unfairly and deceptively promoted [Similac Infant Formula] during the relevant time period as containing ingredients safe for infant consumption and being safe for use, when, in fact, they cause bacterial infections and gastrointestinal illnesses such as Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella, diarrhea, gastrointestinal illnesses, and other serious health problems.”

As time goes on and more evidence begins to mount, further legal action is expected to be taken against Abbott and other baby formula manufacturers.

Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuits

Abbott and other baby formula manufacturers are facing toxic baby formula lawsuits and complaints over their formulas causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), separate from these recent developments in Cronobacter and Salmonella infections.

These cases focus particularly on premature babies being fed cow milk-based formula in the hospital and NICU, allegedly leading to NEC.

Similac (manufactured by Abbott) and Enfamil (manufactured by Mead Johnson) are two common bovine milk-based formulas that have been linked to NEC.

Both manufacturers are named in lawsuits, with parents alleging that these products caused their premature babies to develop the gastrointestinal disease and the risk was not presented on warning labels.

Cow milk-based formulas account for around 80% of formulas sold in the United States.

These formulas are treated with different additives, such as iron and additional lactose, to make it more nutritious and easier for infants to digest.

A study done involving premature babies with NEC found a direct link with cow milk-based formula.

Two premature babies with NEC died of multiorgan failure during the study.

Filing a Contaminated Baby Formula Lawsuit

You may be eligible for a lawsuit if you meet certain criteria, including documented purchase and use of contaminated formula.

Be sure to learn about the civil litigation process and file within your state’s statute of limitations.

This is a daunting situation to be in, so we’re here to help each step of the way.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Hiring a Contaminated Baby Formula Lawyer

Hiring the right personal injury lawyer in your corner is essential in ensuring that you get the most out of your case.

They will help assess and build your case, litigate your lawsuit, and get rightful compensation for your injuries.

In a personal injury case such as a baby formula lawsuit, something to be aware of in the legal process is contingency fees.

Contingency fees can be utilized in the instance where you cannot pay for an attorney, but are in need of one.

They’re payments that are made to the attorney only after you have received a monetary settlement in court.

These can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that you get proper representation without wasting your money.

Gathering Evidence

You must compile adequate evidence supporting your personal injury case.

Strong evidence can greatly increase your chances of reaching a solid settlement.

Possible evidence you might gather can include:

  • Photos and/or videos
  • Receipts of Purchase
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Incident reports
  • Public records

Your attorney will also help in the process of gathering evidence to build your case.

Assess Damages

Your damages are the total amount the defendant is liable to compensate for injuries caused.

An infant suffering from bacterial infection is an instance where assessing economic damages should be straightforward.

The defendant may be liable to pay for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages (parent’s wages)
  • Punitive damages
  • And other damages

For a contaminated baby formula lawsuit, types of damages you may look for are medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and future medical expenses.

A good personal injury lawyer will also aid you through this step in the process of filing a lawsuit.

To learn more about assessing damages, refer to our guide on personal injury damages.

TorHoerman Law, Contaminated Baby Formula Lawyers

If you believe that your child qualifies to participate in a contaminated baby formula lawsuit, contact TorHoerman Law to speak with an experienced attorney and receive a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss your legal options today.

You can also use our chatbot to receive a free, instant online case evaluation right now.

TorHoerman Law is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for individuals injured at no fault of their own.

We operate on a contingency fee basis as an assurance to our clients that we are as dedicated to getting the absolute best result for them.

Let us focus on fighting for you in court so that you can dedicate your full attention to what truly matters - the health of your child.

TorHoerman Law is your contaminated baby formula injury attorney.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

Abbott Baby Formula Recall Expands after Second Infant Dies.NBC Chicago, 1 Mar. 2022, https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2nd-infant-dies-after-exposure-to-recalled-baby-formula-linked-to-bacterial-infections-fda-says/2771429/.

Abdelhamid, Adel E, et al. “In Vitro Cow’s Milk Protein-Specific Inflammatory and Regulatory Cytokine Responses in Preterm Infants with Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Sepsis.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, Feb. 2011, https://www.nature.com/articles/pr9201132.

Cahill SM;Wachsmuth IK;Costarrica Mde L;Ben Embarek PK; “Powdered Infant Formula as a Source of Salmonella Infection in Infants.Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Jan. 2008, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18171262/.

Choosing an Infant Formula.” HealthyChildren.org, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/formula-feeding/Pages/Choosing-an-Infant-Formula.aspx.

Class Action Complaint.” United States District Court Southern District of Florida, 20 Feb. 2022, https://gwick42bmpq1joaxl1a0cctp-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Similac-Recall-Lawsuit.pdf.

Class Action Complaint.US District Court: Northern District of Illinois Chicago Division, 25 Feb. 2022, https://gwick42bmpq1joaxl1a0cctp-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022-02-25-Complaint.pdf.

Cronobacter Infection and Infants.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 Mar. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/cronobacter/infection-and-infants.html.

Cronobacter Prevention & Control.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/cronobacter/prevention.html.

Drudy, D., et al. “Enterobacter Sakazakii: An Emerging Pathogen in Powdered Infant Formula.OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Apr. 2006, https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/42/7/996/324164.

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Certain Powdered Infant Formula Produced in Abbott Nutrition’s Facility in Sturgis, Michigan.U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of the Commissioner, 17 Feb. 2022, https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-warns-consumers-not-use-certain-powdered-infant-formula-produced-abbott-nutritions-facility.

Hunter, Catherine J, et al. “Enterobacter Sakazakii: An Emerging Pathogen in Infants and Neonates.Surgical Infections, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 9 Oct. 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2579942/.

III, J. J. Farmer, et al. “Enterobacter Sakazakii: A New Species of ‘Enterobacteriaceae’ Isolated from Clinical Specimens.International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, Microbiology Society, 1 July 1980, https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/ijsem/10.1099/00207713-30-3-569.

Salmonella Infection.Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Oct. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329.

Salmonella Newport.Salmonella Newport – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/salmonella-newport.

Song, Xinjie, et al. “Cronobacter Species in Powdered Infant Formula and Their Detection Methods.Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources, Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources, Apr. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5960834/.

Zhang, Chen Z, and Lin R Meng. “Cronobacter Sakazakii Induces Necrotizing Enterocolitis by Regulating NLRP3 Inflammasome Expression via TLR4.Journal of Medical Microbiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2020, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32209170/.

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